Archives

What Do You Do With Your Old Christmas Trees?

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Daniel.Buckler@wisconsin.gov, 608-445-4578

Father and daughter bringing a tree home to decorate for Christmas. Source: WI DNR

At probably the same stage of life when I thought bread was just a medium to consume peanut butter, I thought the purpose of Christmas trees was to be a home for presents. However, like many people over the years, my appreciation for these incredible evergreen plants has grown. I love bringing green things into the home when the world can otherwise look bleak.

Unlike urban trees, which were planted and maintained for all sorts of benefits to humans and the wider environment, Christmas trees and other holiday plants are predominantly planted to be harvested at a young age. But like urban trees, their fate following their life’s work is unknown.

We wonder what you do with your Christmas trees or other holiday plants. We encourage you to fill out the short survey linked below. We are particularly interested in any novel ways you may utilize the plants. Next month, we will share results and, hopefully, a few stories.

SURVEY LINK Continue reading “What Do You Do With Your Old Christmas Trees?”

Local Filmmakers Make Stars Out of Local Trees

Micah Davis (left) and Steve Betchkal (right) hold their Midwest Emmy, awarded for their short film “Champion Trees”. Photo Credit: Story Time with Steve & Micah Facebook page

To see a heartwarming story about the power of trees, check out “BRANCHING OUT: Local Filmmakers Score Big by Making Stars Out of Local Trees” by Eric Rasmussen. Micah Davis and Steve Betchkal (Story time with Steve and Micah) spotlight the city of Eau Claire and explore its connection with its trees in a video called Champion Trees.   Continue reading “Local Filmmakers Make Stars Out of Local Trees”

Urban Wildlife Management Grants Available

Applications for the Urban Wildlife Damage Abatement and Control Grant are open. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1.

Municipalities in an eligible urban area can apply. The grant provides a 50% cost share with a maximum award of $5,000.

Urban Wildlife Damage Abatement and Control (UWDAC) Grants help urban areas develop wildlife plans and implement specific damage abatement and/or control measures for white-tailed deer and/or Canada geese. Continue reading “Urban Wildlife Management Grants Available”

 ISA 2022 International Conference Registration Open

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is hosting its 3rd Annual International Virtual Conference on Dec. 13-14. Join ISA for this engaging and compelling virtual event and take advantage of the opportunity to network with colleagues, businesses and arboricultural professionals worldwide.

This year’s virtual event provides a lineup of on-demand educational breakout sessions led by industry leaders from around the globe, sharing their thoughts and views about research, practice and technology. Continue reading ” ISA 2022 International Conference Registration Open”

DNR Urban Forestry Employees Receive NASF Award

The Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry’s own Laura Buntrock, Urban Forestry Program Specialist, and Olivia Witthun, Urban Forestry Coordinator, were awarded the National Association of State Foresters’ (NASF) Steve Sinclair Current Achievement Award for Urban and Community Forestry for their work in the recently published study on the economic benefits of urban and community forestry (UCF). The award ceremony took place at NASF’s 2022 annual meeting, and their awards represent extraordinary contributions to state and private forestry.

Olivia Witthun (left) accepts the Sinclair Current Achievement Award at the NASF 2022 annual meeting.

The economic study, covering the entirety of the Northeast-Midwest region (20 states and the District of Columbia), is the first comprehensive analysis of economic UCF benefits at a regional scale. Its findings justify the enhancement of current UCF programs and the creation of new initiatives to support urban forest management. They have already helped launch similar research in the South and the state of California.

Continue reading “DNR Urban Forestry Employees Receive NASF Award”

Updated Eco-Benefits In The Wisconsin Community Tree Map

By: Dan Buckler, Urban Forest Assessment Specialist

The scientific community continues to grow its understanding and appreciation of the ecosystem services that urban trees offer. That is, we now know more about the good trees do, but we also better understand what we don’t know. This nuanced perspective has manifested itself in updated estimates of ecosystem benefits within the Wisconsin Community Tree Map (WCTM).

The WCTM is a compilation of tree inventories from around the state, comprising 910,000 trees across 180 organizations. One of the application’s many interesting and useful functions is the estimation of trees’ eco-benefits. This information can be found for an individual tree simply by clicking it and then the “Eco-Benefits” box. The eco-benefits can also be estimated for a collection of trees by navigating to the “Hub” tab, then clicking “Stats” and “Ecosystem Benefits.”

Estimated benefits showcased in the tree map include annual stormwater reduction, air pollutant reduction and carbon sequestration, as well as lifetime carbon storage. All these benefits are expressed by quantity, volume or weight and by the monetary impact of the trees.

Example of the TreePlotter Inventory Map

Continue reading “Updated Eco-Benefits In The Wisconsin Community Tree Map”

The Threat Of Extinction To America’s Tree Species

By: Dan Buckler, Urban Forest Assessment Specialist

Generally, attention to the planet’s extinction crisis focuses on charismatic animal species. But what about a different branch of life, one that appeals to those with specific interests and expertise (such as readers of this article)? What is the status of America’s trees?

An extensive study published in the journal Plants People Planet documented all tree species native to the contiguous United States and classified their global extinction risk, creating or updating hundreds of species threat assessments. The results provide one of the most comprehensive appraisals of trees across the country, informing not just our expectation of these trees’ future ecological and economic roles but our moral duty as stewards on and for this planet. Continue reading “The Threat Of Extinction To America’s Tree Species”

CTMI V Session I Successfully Completed

By: Olivia Witthun, Urban Forestry Regional Coordinator

CTMI groups work together to develop marketing plans for scenarios. Source: Olivia Witthun

After being postponed twice due to the pandemic, the third time was a charm. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s Urban Forestry Team hosted the first of three Community Tree Management Institute (CTMI) V sessions. The CTMI session took place at the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wis. and brought together DNR Urban Forestry staff and 28 students from across the state. CTMI students, community foresters, utility foresters, UW Extension staff and a tree board member served as instructors to help educate and led exercises for the 2-day event.

CTMI is an advanced training course designed specifically for people responsible for urban forest management who do not have a degree and/or experience in urban forestry – think of your typical small Wisconsin community’s Public Works Director. This CTMI class jumped right in from the get-go and were very involved in the conversations. The foundations of urban forestry were covered in this first session. The second session, February 2023, will cover planning, operations and biology. The third session, June 2023, will bring it all together. An applied project is also a requirement of attendees; each will work on something that will benefit their community’s urban forest. Continue reading “CTMI V Session I Successfully Completed”

Tree City USA Applications Open!

The Arbor Day Foundation’s Recertification application portal for this year is now open and available. The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program is working to help grow the urban tree canopy in Wisconsin. With more than 200 designated communities, almost 60% of Wisconsinites live in a Tree City USA community.

Tree City USA communities show a strong commitment to growing and maintaining a healthy tree canopy. To receive the recognition, communities must:

  • maintain a tree board or department
  • have a community tree ordinance
  • spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry
  • celebrate Arbor Day.

Continue reading “Tree City USA Applications Open!”